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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Gesell Institute of Child Development Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy

Mission: Gesell institutes mission is to promote the principles of child development in all decision-making for young children. Gesell institutes programs, publications, and advocacy help parents, educators, health professionals, and decision makers understand the ages and stages of young children birth to age 9 years. The gesell developmental observation-revised (2011) assessment for ages 2 1/2 years to 9 years old, gesell early screener (2011) new brief assessment for ages 3-6 years, and accompanying assessment training workshops educate teachers and professionals to appropriately administer the assessment, interpret behaviors observed, plan appropriate curriculum, and manage the classroom with developmentally appropriate expectations. Other professional development opportunities, parent workshops, and community programs cover a broad range of topics on child behavior, healthy growth and development, and positive learning outcomes.

Programs: Research, training, and program development - gesell personnel coordinate and deliver lectures, workshops, and seminars to the public. In addition, employees, consultants, and other associates offer consulting services. Gesell also offers accompanying educational materials, books, and pamphlets for the purpose of teacher training, parent education, and public awareness.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has given me the courage to continue to teach my children in my classroom what is developmentally appropriate for their age group. This is very hard as the new Kindergarten is the old first grade. Children have little or no time to play and socialize because academics and testing have become so important. Each day the children have time to play, socialize and work in small groups with hands on materials. They are able to practice concretely the skills they are learning and master these skills in their own time. They are so much happier.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has been an advocate, supporter, and educator for young children and their families for over 60 years. We promote an understanding of the stages of development in childhood, and identify age appropriate expectations for educators and parents to help them provide a nurturing environment for children's healthy growth.

1 John C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have two small children 5 & 6. Now that they are in school, there is such a large focus on homework and grading I feel like they are not keeping up. The institute teaches us that each child develops at their own pace through certain stages and to think all children will master reading, writing and math at the same time if it is pushed on them is not accurate. This gives me a sense of ease about how my children are developing and I trust the institute's findings that they will develop at their own pace.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently attended a Gesell Institute GDO-R Workshop for the first time. It was a great 3-day experience. My instructor, who spoke from life experience, being a mother herself and a elementary school principal, was very knowledgeable presenter. I took this info back to my classroom and now even look at my students with a whole new understanding. I feel that I can now be a better teacher becuase of the Gesell Developmental Observation-Resvised. Gesell Institute has been educating adults about the ages & stages of child development since the 50s, and Gesell assessments have been successfully used for the past 85 years! Many more schools across the country should know of their expertise.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As an administrator and former teacher of an Independent School, we have been using the Gesell Developmental Observation for 30 years. Our school curriculum and programs are developmentally appropriate. We don't have a specific cut off date, rather we recommend placement based on each individual child. This practice has been very successful and it ensures children are within a class grouping where they can experience success. My school participated in the renorming study this past year and it was certainly reassuring to learn that while the language portions show some variation, the motor portions (fine/gross/grapho) have not changed from Dr. Gesell's early work 60 years ago. The LEAD Conference was a celebration of his, and many others in the field of child development, work.....and the need to redirect some of the current practices of pushing young children to do tasks that are not developmentally appropriate. We must continue to educate teachers, administrators, and parents for the benefit of the children.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Forty years ago, before anyone knew much about kindergarten, I was hired to start a class, in a rural public-school district in Western Massachusetts. I'd had excellent preparation to be a teacher, yet I lacked experience, or any practical method of building community confidence and support. Luckily for me (and my community) I came across an invitation to attend a Gesell Institute workshop. That's when I met Jacqueline (Jackie) Haines!
The value of what I learned at the workshop informed my practice for many years. The most often borrowed books from my family resource shelf were those that explained each chronological age in DEVELOPMENTAL terms, such as "Your Two Year Old".
The Gesell Institute is once again a part of my professional life. Why? Because good things (like some fashions) return approximately every 35 years.
Because Marcy Guddemi, who earned my trust through the work she did prior to coming to Gesell, warmly invited me to revisit the mission of the Institute and attend the LEAD conference in October 2010.
Because by attending the conference, I once again experienced the quality, devotion, and energy that fuels the mission of The Gesell Institute. The "icing on the cake" was speaking with Jackie Haines, and recalling the influence she had on my early career --- one that lasted 35 years!
That she, and other respected leaders in the field, such as Drs. Brazelton and Sparrow, attended the LEAD Conference, (and undoubtedly influenced new teachers), makes this organization worthy of the 2011 award.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I took my first Gesell workshop in the early 80s. I learned so much and I felt that my own understanding of development was verified by the work of Arnold Gesell. This workshop was a turning point in my career as a teacher and director in preschools that offered half-day classes for 2- to 5- year old children. The knowledge that children move through stages of development led to an understanding of what kind of curricula are appropriate for young children.

I attended the LEAD conference in October, 2010. It was fabulous. If you did not attend, you should welcome the Proceedings that will be available.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an early childhood professional, I understood the great responsibility I had in helping parents determine if their child was truly ready to move on to the next level in their education plan. The criteria at that time, and still remains, is chronological age at the time of entry into a program. It was particularly concerning when the cutoff date for entry where I was employed was December first. While attending a National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, I went to a presentation by the Gesell Institute of Human Development on, "The Gift of Time. Five Is Not Enough." This was the beginning of a wonderful journey.
The Gesell Institute gave me the tools I needed to assess the uniqueness of each child's development. Using this information, in partnership with the parents, together we could make a decision to provide every opportunity for their child to succeed.
One-size does not fit all. Each age and stage of development is unique.
The trainings and materials provided by the Gesell Institute became the cornerstone for planning the curriculum and addressing the areas of strength and areas needing more reinforcement for the children.
The children were not the only recipients of all we learned from the Gesell Institute. The teachers, the staff, the parents, the school, and ultimately the community benefitted from what I had learned as I began my journey.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a principal and teacher of private education for over 30 years, I have collaborted with the Gessell Institute of Human Development in many capacities.

This organization has proved to be a blessing not only in my teaching career, but as administrator and counselor working with diagnostic tools to identify, help, restore, and build confidence in hundreds of students who pass through our doors year after year.

The Gesell Institute has helped our staff to understand, identify, and implement protocols that assist in the proper development of every child. This organization has been most constructive in the lives of thousands of students and parents. For that I am most grateful and give the Gesell Institute a five-star rating.

More than any other institution, the Gesell Institute for Human Development is the most deserving one for the $5,000 Grand prize of the GuideStar - KIMBIA Winter 2011 Nonprofit Giveaway.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I attended the LEAD conference of the Gesell Institute last October. The speakers were inspirational. They shared information about child development, as well as how to support children in today's high-pressured world. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet others involved in the field of early childhood development. I was specially interested in the focus on advocacy promoted at the conference. Follow-up messages from the Institute with advice as to how to advocate for children have also been helpful. This is a group with a strong history of support for children, their parents and teachers. I hope they continue their important work.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have recently been in contact with the Gesell institute to inquire of a partnership. The staff have been helpful in directing me to other like minded individuals and still keep in touch with me in regards to their possible role in future collaboration. I work in British Columbia, Canada.
I hope to pursue further involvement in either a collaborative effort or a relationship where we can access resources from the institute to better serve our families here.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in several schools where the Gesell philosophy is foundational in the early childhood department for assessing school readiness, grade placement and determining developmentally appropriate curriculum. For 2 decades I have benefitted professionally from the Gesell Institute's ongoing research, training and resources available to teachers and parents.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

The Gesell Institute continues to be involved in programs, publications and research efforts which help parents and educators understand developmental stages in child development . These developmental stages of growth could be a benchmark for schools to help them develop age appropriate expectations. School systems are expecting young children to do tasks they are not developmentally ready to do successfully. The Gesell Institute has just completed an updated developmental observation assessment with 1400 subjects and the results of this study put The Gesell Institute on the cutting edge of research in the field of child development.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Gesell Institute of Human Development has been, and continues to be, instrumental in early childhood education. I have had numerous interactions with Gesell in the past, and they have been nothing but incredibly kind, passionate, and helpful individuals. They even put on a tremendous conference this past year, which brought together some of the strongest players in the field. I very much anticipate great things for Gesell in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Gesell Institute should be congratulated on the fine LEAD Conference sponsored by the Institute on October 14 and 15, 2010. The steller group of presenters were extremely knowledgeable and their presentations were clearly an example of why they are such respected leaders in the field of education.

The conference also provided the opportunity for people in the field to gether together to renew acquaintances, to be exposed to current developments and be rejuvenated in their chosen field to work with children.

What I personally experienced from the messages given by the presenters was encouragement that the respect and nurturing for childen that was the basis for Dr. Gesell's work continues to be the goal of these highly respected people.

There is no question that participants left the conference filled with validation of the importance of appropriate experiences for children bu renewed commitment to provide these.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an Early Childhood educator who believe strongly in the Gesell Institure. I know, first hand, how important it is to understand the significance of child development when determining a child's curriculum at school or a child's leisure time at home. Today's children are pressured to grow up quickly with social and academic information. The Gesell Institute is a LEADER in educating administrators, teachers and parents in developmentally appropriate practices for young children. It is imperative for the future of our children to educate adults who work with children. The impact of this knowledge can change a nation.
I have used many of Gesell's materials while working with parents, and in workshops for Early Childhood teachers. The GOD-R assessment tool is exceptional. It is wonderful to have The Gesell Institute as a resource in research based information to share with parents and teachers.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The mission of the Gesell Institute resonates throughout early childhood education and provides educators and parents with invaluable information about the developmental stages of childhood. I have been fortunate enough to attend, host, and promote GDO workshops as well as work with members of the Institute's National Lecture Staff to bring their expertise to our community. My school offers a developmental program which is inline with the Institute's philosophy and reinforces the importance between learning readiness and successful placement.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute is more important than ever in this day and age. It continues to spread the need for developmentally appropriate practice for young children. We know how stressed young children are by being forced to grow up too soon and have academics forced on them when they should be enjoying their childhood and learning through play. The Gesell Institute has taken a leadership role in promoting healthy practices for young children and those of us who are professionals in the field of early childhood education support fully the Institute's work.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We were so pleased to be asked to be a part of the GDO survey. The interns who came to our school were nothing less than professional . The children loved doing the assessment and the feedback was very positive.
I have always admired the Gesell Institute and their work with young children, not only as a teacher, but as a parent. In so many schools where Kindergarten has become the new first grade, the Gesell Institute has refused to hop on the bandwagon and respects the developmental age of the child. My hope is that more educators will see the great work the Gesell Institute has done and change policies so all children can succeed i school at their own rate and time.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an adjunct professor, teaching classes in child development/early childhood education, I find the research and information that The Gesell Institute provides extremely valuable. The GDO-R is an assessment tool that determines the child's developmental age. Knowing the child's developmental age allows educators to provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for that child. I have seen the work of Gesell greatly benefit families, teachers, and administrators as they strive to provide exceptional learning experiences. I have been able to help my college students understand development and the impact that developmental age has on the child's ability to have success in school by using the research and information provided by Gesell Institute.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our elementary school has served as a host site for The Gesell Institute of Human Development since 1980 to promote the alignment of appropriate instructional practices with the developmental ages and stages of children in our classrooms. Our school philosophy is deeply rooted in providing a challenging academic curriculum that is developmentally sensitive to the needs of the whole child. The assessment tools developed by Gesell serve as communication tools between teachers and parents and provide educational road maps for appropriate instructional practices and decisions for every child. Delivering instruction according to a child's maturation ensures instructional practices that will not jeopardize the well-being of any child.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We worked with the Gesell Institute on their extremely successful national-level event. Jen Pelton & Marci Guddemi were a pleasure to work with, and moreover we really found what a great organization they run! We have never worked with any clients in the childhood education field, and it was clear that the Gesell Institute is highly regarded and well respected in the industry and with the community they serve. In the time we've worked with them, the institute has taken national experience and studies and used them to better educate the children, parents, and leaders of tomorrow.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has been invaluable in providing sound and meaningful research and data that I use in a multitude of ways in my profession. As an Early Childhood Educator, it is my responsibility to help parents and other community members become informed and knowledgeable about developmentally appropriate practices and the importance of child-initiated play.

Our parent advisory committee has found the videos on their website to be particularly compelling, and they always spur wonderful discussions.

Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the Gesell Institute had published a study confirming that what I learned in college and continued to believe regardless of many changes in public philosophy, was still very valid. Children haven't changed, kindergarten has! I attended the LEAD Conference, conducted by the Gesell Institute and was thrilled to be with professionals who know Gesell was right! I hope to see the Institute thrive and revitalize and educate the public, academia and political leaders that allowing children to develop naturally is in everyone's best interest. I hope to be able to be a Gesell supporter in my own community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my Early Childhood profession in 1972 and in 1985 I was trained by the Gesell Institute to administer the Gesell Developmental Observation Assessment for my school district. The research done by this Institute is a wonderful tool in helping understand the young child. This understanding allows professionals in the classroom to provide appropriate learning opportunities for each student, based not on the child's chronological age, but on the potential of the child!
After my retirement, I contacted the Gesell Institute to thank them for helping to make my classroom career a successful one. They were so gracious as to extend to me an opportunity to assist them in gathering data for their newest observation tool. Once again, I was able to sit with young children and delight in their sincere responses to my queries and, at the same time, gather information that will help innumerable children as they progress through their formal education. It is a pleasure interact with the dedicated staff of the Gesell Institute whose sole purpose is to help children succeed.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The single most rewarding professional work of my lifetime has been my work as an Education Specialist Certified to administer the Gesell Developmental Observation. I invite the parent(s) to sit with me and their child during the Observation. They are amazed and gratified to be able to observe and learn things about their child, that otherwise, would have been unknown to them. The GDO yields very precise, reliable and statistically significant results. I am able to give parents solid information and advice as a result. In the post observation session, I allow as much time as the parents need to discuss results as well as concerns. Since I am a private practitioner, I am able to do so. This allows me to be fully present to parents, and the discussions are profoundly interesting and immensely helpful. We are able to work together so parents can make critical decisions about school and grade placement. The GDO gives the parents information which empowers and reassures them. They really understand the critically important Gesell concept of Developmental Age after this experience.
From my viewpoint, the Gesell Institute of Human Development has given me training and professional support and materials unlike any other. They and the Gesell Developmental Observation are, in my opinion, the platinum standard. Everyone who parents, grandparents, educates or takes care of children and families should know about The Gesell Institute of Human Development and the Gesell Developmental Observation.
Kathleen Kendrick, M.ed., C.A.G.S., Boston & Weston, MA,

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a student at Gesell in the mid 60s and remember it very fondly. Gesell was the foundation for all my future education and development. I am from a family of educators who chose Gesell for its nurturing and supportive environment and it was exactly that. I was a shy child and English was not my first language. At Gesell, I felt comfortable playing with the other children and interacting with the kind and fun teachers. Although I was only 3 or 4 at the time, I have very happy memories of Gesell.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a retired teacher and spent a number of years teaching and working with pre-schoolers. I attended conferences for this age group when I was teaching. During my own childrearing years I was fortunate enough to get a book from Gesell Institute, which I found very helpful to me as a mother and also as a teacher. I support what they are trying to provide to the public for the children pre-school to 8 yrs of age. I see this as so veyr important, especially when so many parents do not realize what a rold they play in their child's emotional and educational life. I feel g'
parents can also play a role in helping their children know more about how to help the g'children.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has been in existence since 1950. It has helped tens of thousands of children in the United States and all over the world through its research, publications, conferences, seminars, teacher training, and expertise in assessing young children. It remains of the foremost nonprofit organizations in the United States dedicated to serving the needs of children and the educational community that services them. I give them five stars for their work!

Review from Guidestar